Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Corps Dinner Night of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) with my colleague, Chris Murray, Vice President of DGS Europe and former Director of the RLC. The RLC was formed in 1993 to provide logistics support and services to the British Army.
Photo Caption: Brigadier Chris Murray, Vice President of DGS Europe and former Director of the RLC (left) and Dan Mongeon, President and CEO of Agility DGS (right)
The dinner, hosted by Lieutenant General Mark Poffley OBE, the Master General of Logistics, was held at the RLC Headquarters Officers’ Mess in Deepcut; a 20th-century military village in Surrey Heath, United Kingdom. The evening included military entertainment and celebrations, and was attended by notable senior military logisticians of the British Army.
During the after-dinner speech, General Poffley praised Agility’s work in support of the UK Defence Operations, and thanked Agility for its continued sponsorship of the RLC Sports teams, which allows young soldiers to play sports at a higher competitive level, and contributes to the funds that allow them to hold competitions and participate in international tours.
Thank you RLC for a wonderful evening and the kind words from General Poffley.
Kudos to the Lexington Institute and Daniel Gouré for the excellent article on DoD logistics: “The United States Remains A Logistics and Sustainment Superpower.” The truth of the matter is that U.S. logistics capability is so good that it is often taken for granted.
I could not agree more with the statement “logistics and sustainment is what makes the difference between a military than can fight and win wars and one-trick ponies…” Well done, Dan, thanks for taking the time to recognize a national treasure.
In a recent article published by the Lexington Institute, “Rethinking Competition in Defense Acquisition,” the author’s point is well taken. Competition just for the sake of meeting internal DoD metrics is self-serving and in no way relates to the realities of private industry.
However, sole sourcing isn’t the only solution. I think a bigger issue is the length of contracts. Simply stated, they need to be longer. The UK MoD is finding success using longer timeframes for contracts to attract competition and lower costs. Maybe there is something there.
Daniel Gouré once again hits the nail squarely on the head in his most recent Lexington Institute article “Better Buying Power 2.0 Failing to Deliver on Increased Competition.”
Simply stated, you can’t artificially create competition where it does not exist or where there is no incentive to compete.
On the other hand, you can create competition and reduce costs when you employ “win-win” solutions, much as Performance-Based Logistics contracts. The key is to make hard things easy, instead of making hard things harder. There is something to the “KISS” principle.
In Daniel Gouré’s recent article “Military Readiness Benefits from Use of Commercial Best Practices in Supply Chain Management,” he very appropriately links best practices, supply chain management, and Performance Based Logistics (PBLs). Each is important, but when you think in terms of applying all three to a given private partnership – then you are really cooking with gas. Unfortunately, more times than not, the powers to be within DoD fail to realize the full power of the triad. Yes, there are successes but we have to really commit to this smarter way of doing business. Change comes slow.
Read article here.
Once again, Dan Gouré hits the nail squarely on the head with comments in his recent Lexington Institute article. There is no question that there are $billions that could be saved by DoD if they would get serious about adopting best commercial business practices. Reducing the overly burdensome DoD contracting and acquisition process would truly save $billions.
Also, as Dan correctly points out, DoD needs to get serious about Performance Based Logistics (PBLs) agreements. Using PBLs needs to be the rule rather than the exception. We all know that PBLs save money and are very effective in improving readiness, so why can’t we take it to the next level? Simply stated we can but “old school” thinking needs to be shown the door first. We need to accept that work which is not inherently governmental is a prime candidate for PBLs. There is no magic here: Mandate the use of PBLs and get on with it.
Read the article here.
In the April edition of National Defense magazine, there is a short article announcing the retirement of LTG (R) Chris Christianson from National Defense University. Few if any logisticians have had a more profound impact on DoD logistics than Chris. He made all of us think more broadly, be more “joint” in our approach to logistics and always remember who we are ultimately accountable to – the soldier, sailor, Marine, and airman on point for our nation.
LTG (R) “Chris” Christianson
Chris will be missed.
Read the article here.
As clearly stated in National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Year-End Review: Challenges and Opportunities for the defense industry in 2014 through temporary congressional fixes the DoD ship has been righted for the next two years anyway. There is still a lot of fence mending to be done if we are to get back to any degree of normalcy. So we have a workable short-term solution and that is good. Now we need to take the next step and get to a level of predictability that will work both the DoD and the defense industry.
I know that is asking a lot, but it is desperately needed. That is my two cents.
See NDIA’s Year-End Review here.
In the most recent edition of NDIA, National Defense Magazine, NDIA President Larry Farrell nails the impact of sequestration on Defense. Larry correctly points out that it is the accumulative effect that must be considered and not just looking at individual services or weapon systems. Keeping a world class military ready to do the nation’s bidding is not something that you can just turn off and on. Short sighted actions like sequestration drive the services and the Defense Industry to take actions that, in the long run, will cost much more in so many ways. Larry, I hope someone is listening.
See Lawrence Farrell Jr.’s perspective here.